“Become totally empty; Quiet the restlessness of the mind; Only then will you witness everything unfolding from emptiness.” - Lao Tzu
My soul has been longing for my body and mind to slow down, stop even, and step into the pace and rhythm of this sacred time of year. That, after all, has been my practice for many years. And, the quiet of the snow blessed woods calls me gently each time I step out the door or look out the window at the beauty.
This year is different though. The world is also calling me to participate: clients wanting a last session of the year, visitors needing lodging here and the Dragonfly House, and key staff changes at the local agency where I serve as President of the Board. And, that doesn’t include a few holiday activities that nurture me – body, mind and spirit.
Something needed to shift and I knew it wasn’t likely to be the world inviting me to stop (or me declining an invitation). I needed to get beyond the either/or [stop and turn off the world OR forego the nurturing of Solstice time] and move to both/and [participate in the opportunities of the events offered by the world AND give myself the gifts of Solstice’ nurturing].
And, no surprise, the amazingly sensitive and awesome teacher in my life provided just the path, hopping onto the couch as I was snuggled in with a cup of tea before beginning the day. No, he didn’t curl up at my feet as he usually does. Rather, he plopped right on my chest (all 60 loving pounds) and fell fast asleep. The choice was clear: seize the moment and use it to honor my soul’s longing OR deny the gift (get up, put a log on the fire, write my blog, etc. etc.).
I seized the moment. For a blissful hour I watched my thoughts conspire to move me into action (or at least into thinking about what I needed to do in the world or how events might unfold) as I simply relaxed on the couch and allowed myself to bathe in gratitude for my life and to feel the unconditional love of the Universe through its messenger of the moment, Cool Hand Luke Skywalker -Texas Ranger.
Luke’s gift was a reminder that life is rarely about the win/loose, either/or choices that we so often allow ourselves to fall victim to. Choices, yes they are the core of our journey. But, when we empty the clutter of thoughts that cloud our clarity we obscure the beauty of that power of choice.
Luke and I wish you the best this season and invite you to take time for you and your soul. We promise that you won’t regret it.
P.S. A Solstice gift for you. Last year on this Thursday before Solstice I wrote about the beauty and blessings of this special time of year when “All of heaven and all of earth coordinate at the Winter Solstice.” Gregge Tiffen*
Winter Solstice is the time of natural transformation, newness that comes forth with or without our awareness. Winter Solstice is the time when our receptivity is heightened in consciousness. Is it any wonder that with fewer hours of daylight, we are drawn inside into our homes, perhaps under the covers, and definitely drawn to be inside ourselves at this time of year?